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No matter now, not hell itself shall burst!
Hence, woman, to the Haram, and look gay,
Look wild, look - anything but sad; yet stay -
.One moment more from what this night hath pass’d,
I see thou know'st me, know'st me well at last.
Ha! ha! and so, fond thing, thou thought'st all true,
And that I love mankind ? - I do, I do-
As vietims, love them; as the sea-dog doats
Upon the small, sweet fry that round him floats;
Or, as the Nile-bird loves the slime that gives
That rank and venomous food on which she lives ! 57.

“And, now thou see'st my soul's angelic hue,
'Tis time these features were uncurtain'd too;
This brow, whose light — oh rare celestial light!
Hath been reserv'd to bless thy favor'd sight;
These dazzling eyes, before whose shrouded might
Thou'st seen immortal Man kneel down and quake —
Would that they were heaven's lightnings for his sake!
But turn and look then wonder, if thou wilt,
That I should hate, should take revenge, by guilt,
Upon the hand, whose mischief or whose mirth
Sent me thus maim'd and monstrous upon earth;
And on that race who, though more vile they be
Than mowing apes, are demi-gods to me!
Here - judge if hell, with all its power to damn,
Can add ane curse to the foul thing I am !”

He rais'd his veil — the Maid turn’d slowly round, Look'd at him-shriek'd- and sunk upon the ground!

59

On their arrival, next night, at the place of encampment,
they were surprised and delighted to find the groves all
around illuminated; some artists of Yamtcheou 58 having
been sent on previously for the purpose. On each side
of the green alley, which led to the Royal Pavilion,
artificial sceneries of bamboo-work were erected, repre-
senting arches, minarets, and towers, from which hung
thousands of silken lanterns, painted by the most deli-
cate pencils of Canton. — Nothing could be more beautiful
than the leaves of the mango-trees and acacias, shining
in the light of the bamboo-scenery, which shed a lustre
round as soft as that of the nights of Peristan.

LALLA Rooky, however, who was too much occupied by the sad story of ZELICA and her lover, to give a thought to anything else, except, perhaps, him who related it, hurried on through this scene of splendor to her pavilion, - greatly to the mortification of the poor artists of Yamtcheou, - and was followed with equal tine's rapidity by the Great Chamberlain, cursing, as he went, he that ancient Mandarin, whose parental anxiety in lighting up the shores of the lake, where his beloved daughter had wandered and been lost, was the origin of these fantastic Chinese illuminations. 6

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Without a moment's delay, young FERAMORZ was introduced, and FADLADEEN, who could never make up his mind as to the merits of a poet, till he knew the religious sect to which he belonged, was about to ask him whether he was a Shia or a Sooni, when LALLA Rooku impatiently clapped her hands for silence, and the youth, being seated upon the musnud near her, proceeded :

52

LALLA ROOKH.

U

PREPARE thy soul, young Azim!— thou hast brav'd
The bands of GREECE, still mighty though enslav'd;
Hast faced her phalanx, arm’d with all its fame,
Her Macedonian pikes and globes of flame;
All this hast fronted, with firm heart and brow,
But a more perilous trial waits thee now,
Woman's bright eyes, a dazzling host of eyes
From every land where woman smiles or sighs;
Of every hue, as Love may chance to raise
His black or azure banner in their blaze;
And each sweet mode of warfare, from the flash
That lightens boldly through the shadowy lash,
To the sly, stealing splendors, almost hid,
Like swords half-sheath’d, beneath the downcast lid:-
Such, Azim, is the lovely, luminous host
Now led against thee; and, let conquerors boast
Their fields of fame, he who in virtue arms
A young, warm spirit against beauty's charms,
Who feels her brightness, yet defies her thrall,
Is the best, bravest conqueror of them all.

Now, through the Haram chambers, moving lights
And busy shapes proclaim the toilet's rites;-
From room to room the ready handmaids hie,
Some skill'd to wreathe the turban tastefully,
Or hang the veil, in negligence of shade,
O’er the warm blushes of the youthful maid,
Who, if between the folds but one eye shone,
Like SEBA's Queen could vanquish with that one:
While some bring leaves of Henna, to imbue
The fingers' ends with a bright roseate hue,62
So bright, that in the mirror's depth they seem

61

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Like tips of coral branches in the stream;
And others mix the Kohol's jetty dye,
To give that long, dark languish to the eye,68
Which makes the maids, whom kings are proud to cull
From fair Circassia's vales, so beautiful.
All is in motion; rings and plumes and pearls
Are shining everywhere : --- some younger girls
Are gone by moonlight to the garden beds,
To gather fresh, cool chaplets for their heads;
Gay creatures! sweet, though mournful, 'tis to see
How each prefers a garland from that tree
Which brings to mind her childhood's innocent day,
And the dear fields and friendships far away.
The maid of India, blest again to hold
In her full lap the Champac's leaves of gold,64
Thinks of the time when, by the GANGES' flood,
Her little playmates scatter'd many a bud
Upon her long black hair, with glossy gleam
Just dripping from the consecrated stream;
While the young Arab, haunted by the smell
Of her own mountain flowers, as by a spell,
The sweet Elcaya, 65 and that courteous tree
Which bows to all who seek its canopy,66
Sees, call'd up round her by these magic scents,
The well, the camels, and her father's tents;
Sighs for the home she left with little pain,
And wishes even its sorrows back again!

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Meanwhile, through vast illuminated halls,
Silent and bright, where nothing but the falls
Of fragrant waters, gushing with cool sound
From many a jasper fount, is heard around,
Young Azim roams bewilderd, — nor can guess
What means this maze of light and loneliness.
Here, the way leads, o’er tesselated floors

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Or mats of CAIRO, through long corridors,
Where, ranged in cassolets and silver urns,
Sweet wood of aloe or of sandal burns;
And spicy rods, such as illume at night
The bowers of TIBET,67 send forth odorous light,
Like Peris’ wands, when pointing out the road
For some pure Spirit to its blest abode :
And here, at once, the glittering saloon
Bursts on his sight, boundless and bright as noon;
Where, in the midst, reflecting back the rays
In broken rainbows, a fresh fountain plays
High as the enamell’d cupola, which towers
All rich with Arabesques of gold and flowers:
And the mosaic floor beneath shines through
The sprinkling of that fountain's silv'ry dew,
Like the wet, glistening shells, of every dye,
That on the margin of the Red Sea lie.

Here too he traces the kind visitings
Of woman's love in those fair, living things
Of land and wave, whose fate - in bondage thrown
For their weak loveliness is like her own!
On one side gleaming with a sudden grace
Through water, brilliant as the crystal vase
In which it undulates, small fishes shine,
Like golden ingots from a fairy mine;-
While, on the other, latticed lightly in
With odoriferous woods of COMORIN,68
Each brilliant bird that wings the air is seen;
Gay, sparkling loories, such as gleam between
The crimson blossoms of the coral tree 69
In the warm Isles of India's sunny sea:
Mecca's blue sacred pigeon,"o and the thrush
Of Hindostan,"1 whose holy warblings gush,
At evening, from the tall pagoda's top;

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